Italian pres. urges calm after Berlusconi trial
ROME (AP) — Italy’s president has called for continued government stability amid concerns Silvio Berlusconi’s conviction and stiff sentence might destabilize the government’s delicate balance.
President Giorgio Napolitano lamented Italy’s “record of political fibrillations” and the frequent talk of political doom.
Premier Enrico Letta was to meet with Berlusconi on Tuesday after a Milan court convicted the billionaire media mogul of paying for sex with a minor and then trying to cover it up. Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life, though the sentence doesn’t come into force until two levels of appeals are exhausted.
Berlusconi doesn’t have an official role in the government, but he still wields great influence in the uneasy grand coalition Letta formed following inconclusive February elections.